Honesty is key to a healthy relationship, but how much info is too much?
Having someone to talk to and confide in is one of the beautiful perks of being in a relationship. But if you think it’s best to maintain a keep-no-secrets level of closeness, we’ve got to warn you: Not every detail has to be shared. In fact, it can be advantageous to keep him in the dark about certain things, like these.
Playfully bragging about past sexual endeavors may seem harmless. But does your boyfriend really want a mental image of you and your ex joining the mile-high club? Not likely. “It’s bound to tap him insecurity and jealousy, and it never feels good to think about your partner being with other another person,” says Emily Morse, sexologist and creator of SexWithEmily.com. Limit discussions about your sexual history to whether you’ve been checked for STIs, if you have one, and how you want to use protection during sex.
Opening up about emotional issues you or family members have faced can bring you two closer together and it can let you know that he’s a solid, empathetic guy, says Morse. But trivial drama, like your mom arguing with her sister about who will host Thanksgiving this year? It isn’t exactly need-to-know information, says Karen Sherman, Ph.D., a relationship psychologist and author of Marriage Magic! Find It, Keep It, and Make It Last. If you don't want to spill why Turkey Day becomes a war, don't feel like you have to.
Remember when you and that cute guy from your office made out last year because you had one too many margaritas at happy hour? Yeah, consider that classified info. Telling him about that one drunken make out session will leave your partner paranoid that you have real feelings for the guy in accounting, no matter how many times you swear it was the tequila talking, says Sherman. You shouldn't keep full-blown, past relationships from your partner, but leaving out a lip lock here and there won't hurt.
It’s okay if he complains about his parents. But you’re technically an outsider, and your joining in on the gripe session can make him shift gears and feel protective of them, not to mention hurt him because it implies you don’t like the people he loves. Unless they’ve done something horrible or disrespected you, let him vent about his family and try not to judge, says Morse. Try to imagine how you would react if the tables were turned before you respond.
Fessing up to this bombshell can have crazy-serious repercussions. “Telling him that you’ve cheated on a previous boyfriend will trigger his insecurities,” says Morse. “Even if he brushes it off, believe me, he won’t ever forget.” Translation: He’ll always be secretly wondering whether you’re going to do the same thing to him. Ultimately, it's up to you. If you deeply regret your two-timing and don’t plan on doing it again, it's okay to keep this skeleton under lock. Of course, what you decide to do is totally up to you, but experts say not fessing up isn't a deal breaker.